Sunday, June 30, 2019

Orbit CME: My Perspective

My colleague from my radiology residency program, Ram Srinivasan, asked me to check out his website Orbit CME. Orbit CME is a centralized, online managing tool for our required CME credits. He asked me over a year ago and I finally got around to it this week because I had to submit my CME requirements to my radiology department. Gathering all of my certificates was annoying and that's when I remembered Ram's company. I love IT solutions to can streamline requirements so I took Orbit CME for a test run. Having tried it out for a few days, I wanted to share my perspective on the website. I signed up for the one-week free trial and I'm impressed overall.

HOW IT WORKS:
Orbit CME uses a chrome extension to track papers and scientific abstracts that I've read and then, gives me 0.5 CME credit per each article or abstract.
The software automatically recognizes the approved websites and works in the background. You have to be on the content page for at least 20 seconds to claim CME credit. Then, I click on the chrome extension and approves the credits Orbit has logged. Just like other CME, I have to complete the required standard CME evaluation survey.

Having used it for the past two days, I've already earned for 4 CME credits, but I can claim only 2 because of the limit of my one-week trial.

COST:
The cost varies on the plan but it is about $30 per month for up to 50 CME credits. That comes out to be about $360 for the year or about $7-8  per one unit of CME credit, which is really cheap compared to in-person and even online CME workshops. You have the option of increasing the max CME credits.

WHAT I LIKE:

  • The nice thing about orbit CME is the automated pre-populated surveys for the CME questionnaire. It's great to be able to open the survey, have everything pre-populated beforehand and just click submit to then redeem your 0.5 CME credit per each article. 
  •  The other feature is the ability to upload your prior CMEs from prior conferences. I uploaded all of my certificates and so there's a central storage place for my CME credits. 
  • The best thing about orbit CME is the user interface.  I have CME credits through RSNA and I apparently have a free account with CME service called CME gateway (https://www.cmegateway.org/).  But, the website is very clumsy. When I tried to upload my CME credits from RSNA, it didn't recognize my RSNA account as a registered website. With orbit CME, the user interface is more intuitive. 
  • The ability to identify the type of CME credits such as ultrasound, fluoroscopy, nuclear medicine, and other subspecialty specific requirements makes Orbit CME a really useful tool to get the detailed tracking/auditing you need for specific credentialing. I imagine with the American College of Radiology Centers of Excellence that require specific hours of CME credits for certain certification, orbit CME could be a valuable asset.


DESIRED FEATURES:
It would be nice for CME orbit to sync with my RSNA and automatically upload the credits that I have through the RSNA Online Education Center, which it currently does not have the capability to do.

All the extra clicks and sign up we do to redeem our CME credits from meetings can be a hassle. If Orbit CME can be incorporated into meetings such as RSNA when we have a lot of education experiences (e.g. educational poster sessions) so that attendees can redeem the credit automatically, then that would be powerful.

OVERALL, I like orbit CME a lot and I would recommend it. Private practice radiologists or even academic radiologists who don't want to go to conferences or meetings to get their CME credits could benefit from Orbit CME. For academic radiologists who write scientific papers or read online educational content, this is useful. You could meet all of your CME requirements purely through orbit CME through the online references we look up on a routine basis.

However, because I have to attend multiple conferences per year, I already collect sufficient CME credits to meet my required amount. The added $360 per year is not really worth it for me for the ease of use and centralization of the CME credits. But, it's worth the cost if Orbit CME can be used in place of attending conferences. I participate in meetings and give talks, so that latter option is not really an option right now.

Disclosure:
Ram offered me a free annual subscription to orbit CME after my initial trial. I decided not to take up on his offer because I felt that would bias me on my review on this website. So I have no financial conflict other than Ram being a friend and colleague from residency.

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